Starting in its earliest days, Georgia developed a unique
architectural style that is most visible in religious structures
dating as far back as the sixth century A.D. The cupola structure
typical of Georgian churches probably was based on circular
domestic dwellings that existed as early as 3000 B.C. Roman,
Greek, and Syrian architecture also influenced this style.
Persian occupation added a new element, and in the nineteenth
century Russian domination created a hybrid architectural style
visible in many buildings in Tbilisi. The so-called Stalinist
architecture of the mid-twentieth century also left its mark on
Painting, Sculpture, and Metalworking
Like literature, Georgian mural painting reached a zenith
during the golden age of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
Featuring both religious and secular themes, many monuments of
this and the later Byzantine- and Persian-influenced periods were
destroyed by the Russians in the nineteenth century. Examples of
Georgian religious painting remain in some of the old churches.
Stone carving and metalworking traditions had developed in
antiquity, when Roman and Greek techniques were incorporated. In
the golden age, sculpture was applied most often to the outside
of buildings. In the twentieth century, several Georgian
sculptors have gained international recognition. Among them is
Elguja Amasukheli, whose monuments are landmarks in Tbilisi.
Metalworking was well established in the Caucasus among the
ancestors of the Georgians as early as the Bronze Age (second
millennium B.C.). This art form, applied to both religious and
secular subjects, declined in the Middle Ages.
Data as of March 1994